Poverty may topple topper's degree dreams

PU achievers:

Poverty may topple topper's degree dreams

Shilpakla has secured the third rank in the arts stream of the II PU exam, but the outlook for her hopes of doing her BA and becoming an IAS officer appears bleak, as her family wants to marry her off.

For her family that scrou­nged for money to finance her PU education, funding further education may be difficult. For Shilpakala, who will need Rs 30 a day to go to degree college in Tumkur, besides the fees, doing BA looks a distant dream.

Early in her life, Shilpakala developed the trick of focusing in class. That helped her absorb all that her teachers had to offer in terms of guidance. She slept for just three hours at night between 1 am and 4 am, studying all the while. Her marks sheet speaks for itself, with a score of above 90 in all subjects and a total of 560 out of 600.

With such enviable scores, she was on course for a repeat performance in her degree, but for the utter poverty back home, where two square meals is a luxury. A student of Basaveshwara Kendriya Samyukta PU College at Kolala in Urdigere hobli in Koratagere taluk, Shilpakala’s parents were bonded labourers even as recently as five years ago.

Their meagre earnings as coolies sustain the family. The girl used to go on an empty stomach to college, six km from home. Her first meal of the day would be only after returning home in the afternoon.

Shilpakala secured 86 per cent in her SSLC and wanted to join the science stream in PUC. But she had to be content joining the arts stream in the college, because she got free admission with a promise to subsidise her education. Shilpakala’s economics teacher, S Rajanna, helped the girl a great deal.

Shilpakala says it will be difficult for her family to send her to college, as they were already supporting her brother’s course at an industrial training institute. For them, marrying her off is a better option as that would mean one mouth less to feed. It was, therefore, no surprise when the news of her stellar performance in class XII spurred her parents to draw up Shilpakala’s marriage plans, instead of asking her to buy the application form for the BA course.

They are already working on a couple of alliance proposals. If no one comes forward to sponsor her education before the proposals fructify, Shil­pakala will have to start preparing for the wedding and her career dreams will turn to dust.

Those who wish to help Shilpakala realise her dreams call: 8861441186.

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